Any Advice? Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal & Gambia

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by Louisdut, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    Hi!

    I've ridden in Morocco before but looking to do a bit more and a possible ride from the UK through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal & Gambia.

    Do you know if visa's carnets are needed for any of the countries?

    Which borders have you used? What were they like? Were there places to buy insurance?

    Any advice on routes? Places to see/avoid?

    Please keep it simple as I am not the most experienced traveller, but there's only one way to get the experience.

    Cheers,

    Louis
    #1
  2. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

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    About the visa's and other paperwork, vaccinations that are required, our department of foreign affairs has all the info for every country on their website. May be the same in the UK?
    #2
  3. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/

    Cheers

    Bert
    #3
  4. kneeslider

    kneeslider Long timer

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    Western Sahara, No Go
    Mauritania, Also no go
    Senegal, Ditto
    Gambia, Maybe

    Beware the evil that lurks behind every sandune! AQ got several million Euros for two Austrians & now they have to Canadians, want to try for a trivecta?

    Bon Chance!

    :2guns
    #4
  5. olivierk13

    olivierk13 Been here awhile

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    Hi,

    Western Sahara : depend of what part you speaking of, the Moroco part of WS is almost secured

    Mauritania : travel with other vehicules and a guide (not alone) is the better thing to do, but you have to know it can be dangerous place (mines in the desert, no institutional help if you're have an accident, and criminality). And it's getting worse since the army took the power 1.5 years ago (2 years ago 3 frenchs tourists were killed in east Mauritania).

    Senegal : no real problems exept criminality like in every country, specially where you find some poor people with no social programms.

    For mauritania you have a Map of area to go and NOT to go (red area) :

    [​IMG]

    For the legal procedures you'll find them on your internet consulate as said before in the thread. Ah yes, if can go to Moroco to Mauritinia with a simple and easy to obtain visa, going to Mauritania to Moroco is sometimes more complicated (it was in 1996)
    #5
  6. LOZ

    LOZ Long timer

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    don't believe all the crap your hearing about all the bogy men behind every dune and landmines allover the place you'll end up staying at home stamp collecting and you know what happened to the bloke who cut his tongue on a stamp...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. LOZ

    LOZ Long timer

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    [​IMG]


    nice fella in nouabodu (spell) hotel manager sorted some beer :freaky

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    local builders

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    do not camp in the mine fields:eek1!!!!

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    remember to look behind the dunes for the baddies

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    he might set his cow on you:poser:topes


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    watch out for the WILD dog's

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    and remember to suffer as much as possible

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    traffic is horrendous in the rush 5min's

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    roads are in excellent condtion and very safe[​IMG]

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    get's a bit warm sometimes

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    head for the shade
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    and watch the world go by

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    apparently dirt bikes are a very popular form of transport

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    some of the locals were in a bit of a hurry,anyone would think there was a race on!!!

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    rush 5min's again[​IMG]

    you get the feeling your being watched:huh[​IMG]

    i wish they would open a branch near me

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    and as for the locals who go out of there way to help a weary traveler
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    olhins are great..........in europe

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    i was happy to see the OE shock

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    no expence is spared when it come to health and safety

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    the BMW system 5 helmet is crap.

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    introducing the buzz motorcycle range:lol3
    to Senegal and beyond!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    just go mate you'll love it

    loz
    #7
  8. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

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    Cool! That's Rally PanAm's Casey McCoy!
    #8
  9. NoExit

    NoExit NoProblem

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    Danger does not lurk behind every dune. The Austrians were taken in northeastern Mali, the Canadians in Niger, not in Mauritania, Senegal or Gambia. There's a vast no-go zone in the Sahara that overlaps parts of Mauritania, Algeria, Mali and Niger. The dodgy areas are well known, and you'll be warned plenty where not to go. Seek local advice along the way, and you'll be fine.

    I don't know anything about Western Sahara, but most of Mauritania is fine. Senegal is fine all over and so is The Gambia.

    Petty crime is the worst that'll happen, so stay in places where you can park your bike in enclosures, and keep your valuables safe.

    Your biggest danger is still your motorcycle. ATTGATT, even when it's hot enough to roast you.

    Insurance: Any AXA office can sell you a brown card, which covers Senegal, Gambia, Mali and maybe other countries. AXA has offices in all the major West African towns.

    Carnet: Rules keep changing, and aren't evenly enforced. Sometimes your vehicle can enter if they write it into you visa/passport, sometimes they want a carnet. With a carnet, it's always fine.

    Senegal: Dakar is magical, with great nightlife. Don't be afraid to get out there. It's little daunting at first (a lot of very persistent street vendors), but worth the effort. St. Louis is lovely too. Great jazz.

    Gambia: Roads are crap (just remnants of asphalt between the deep potholes) and not much to see if you're not into bird watching.

    Mali: I know this wasn't on your list, but Mali's got much more to offer than Gambia or Senegal. It's only dodgy in the remote northeast, the rest is fine. Ride up to Timbuktu. The town's not much, but the ride up is amazing, and if you time it right, the Festival au Desert is a magical music festival in the desert. Visit Djenne, an ancient town with mud buildings, and I mean buildings, not huts. Some are three storeys high. It's home to the world's largest mud building (a mosque) and you can sleep on the roof of a mud guesthouse. Go trekking among the primitive Dogon people along the Bandiagara escarpment. It's like a living museum of ancient civilizations. You need a guide though. Ask for Mr. Goldfish. He's a treasure, and well respected in the area.

    Relax, have fun, and don't be afraid to mix with the locals. You'll know which ones are genuine, and who's just trying to get a buck.
    #9
  10. NoExit

    NoExit NoProblem

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    If you want peace of mind, there are a few operations in Europe that run trips down to West Africa in convoys of trucks and bikes.

    The lighter the better in sand, and with one of these operations you can have them carry your gear, water and fuel, and you can just ride.

    I don't remember the names of the operations, but Google should find them.
    #10
  11. Frgich

    Frgich Long timer

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    Nice one Loz, thanks for the funny short version of your RR :D
    #11
  12. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    That looked a great trip :bow :bow :bow Cheers for posting pic,s :thumb

    I'll start planning then

    Cheers

    Louis
    #12
  13. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    Big thank's for the info :thumb

    Cheer

    Louis
    #13
  14. kneeslider

    kneeslider Long timer

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    Good to hear all is safe & good to go! Thanks for he update on the Magreb!

    Oh, it has been reported that the Canadians have been moved to Mali & Mauratania & have been split up & most likely being moved every few days!

    Try to learn a little Arabic & Berber before going.

    Bon voyage!

    :pope
    #14
  15. LOZ

    LOZ Long timer

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    sorry about that mate,i've only just found out how to post picc's and went a bit mad:evil

    loz
    #15
  16. sarah

    sarah thegirafferider

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    FOR ATTENTION OF LOUISDUT PLEASE.

    Hello

    I have just arrived & in need of advice & Robbie c gave me your name.

    Hope you don't mind the intrusion..

    I am planning on a trip around Europe & plan to go for more than 90 days, Robbie said he had an ins comp that only the 'elite' new about but cant remember the underwriters.

    Are you able to help me. This is the end of the line :baldy. Have searched allllll day & no-one does more than 90 days without returning to UK for 24 hrs.
    If there is then I can't see it...:baldy

    Of course any help is appreciated
    Thanks for your time

    Sarah
    #16
  17. kneeslider

    kneeslider Long timer

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    Would visiting Gabralter (sp?) count as being back in the UK? :slurp
    #17
  18. sarah

    sarah thegirafferider

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    :drums No sadly:drumsfrustrating:drumsgoing to scream soon & terrify all the tourists:becca:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy:baldy
    #18
  19. pebble35

    pebble35 Long timer

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    ?? I thought most insurers provided the basic minimum third party european cover within their policy (ie third party only - no fully comprehensive or fire/theft cover) as a standard part of their policy cover with no time limit - it was the extended cover (fully comp/fire/theft cover) that was restricted to a limited period.

    :rofl
    #19
  20. doc47

    doc47 Klooge Maker 3rd Class

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    Listen to the man! He has it right on! And the fellow who said your biggest danger is your bike is also right on!

    I LIVE in The Gambia and you won't find a safer place, especially compared to the US! You'll encounter customs guys and border officials and cops on the take. You'll run into pickpockets and petty thieves.

    You'll also meet some of the sweetest, most helpful, decent people you will encounter in a lifetime.

    I'll second the recommendation to go to Mali. Definitely more to see there. Mention Mali to the Africans here and the comment is invariably "A lot of culture there!"

    If you head down you're welcome here. Feel free to write for recommendations. davidzl_2000@yahoo.com
    doc country code +220 tel: 7447549
    #20